Sunday, December 26, 2010
Friday, December 10, 2010
Friday, December 3, 2010
|Police guarding a drug haul|
The recent formation of a new police task force by police commissioner Mathew Iteere on drug trafficking, piracy and money laundering is most welcomed by Kenyans.
The task force will table its report in 2 weeks after analyzing drug trade reports in the country.
The move will include re-structuring of the Anti-Narcotics police unit for efficiency by changing the superintendent who heads it currently to an assistant commissioner and senior police officers to be in charge.
This move is most welcomed after the Imenti Central MP Gitobu Imanyara tabled a dossier to the parliament implicating corrupt Kenya Revenue Authority personnel, senior politicians and civil servants benefiting from this illicit trade for thwarting the efforts its control.
The US is already alarmed at Kenya turning into a major hard drugs transit point from South East Asia to the West and money laundering aiding Somalia pirates and terrorist. The country has gone further to bar senior government officials involved in the trade from visiting the country.
US and Mr. Imanyara dossier though downplayed by implicated individuals is a clear warning sign in what corruption of bureaucracy in abating these vice will cause a menace not only to Kenyans but the country image world wide in the backdrop of rebranding the country.
These corrupt sleaze balls driven by lust for money will stunt growth in the country’s sectors of tourism, education by high rate of drop out and health sector by impotent addicts with the increase of youths hooked to this vice which is already alarming.
That ex-police superintendent Godanna Jarsa had to go into hiding for fear of his life as a whistleblower is sickening in the fight against corruption.
Drug turf wars felt in Mexico, Jamaica by arrest of drug baron Dudus Cork, the poppy war in Afghanistan by Talibans and Guinea leadership stalemate brought by external drug traffickers and barons should never find a place in Kenya at the expense of few complacent fat cats.
|Makadara MP Gidion 'Sonkoh' Mbuvi|
The arrest and detention of Makadara MP Gidion Mbuvi aka Sonkoh in police cells for 6 days in connection to several fraud cases does not only place corrupt politicians in a poor light but also the plight Kenyan youths in bringing change.
Upon his release after a failure to raise the 1.5M bond in time- and I thought he was a Sonkoh- the MP termed his arrest and detention as a police plot ‘to kill the youth’.
The turning up of hapless youths in attempt to thwart the cause of justice in the court heightens the dearth of youthful change in the country.
The little known Nairobi politician flooring of big wigs politicians in Makadara by election brought him popularity which Kenyan youths hoped could bring change to the political landscape.
Sadly this has not been the case.
The flamboyant MP’s court appearance places him to the rank and file Kenyan politicians’ often endless court cases, their names in bad light in several reports and shameful embezzlements.
This has cut off Sonkoh from giving any hope for change to the youths who felt the full brunt of Post Election Violence, PEV as used by the old politicians as gloves in shoving their murky deals.
I have tried to see the MP past his flamboyance, blings and cash-money appearance and what comes out is nothing substantial but a shell of a leader lacking any serious ideological principle. What I see is a politician with loads of cash to sway electorates with little delivery hope on promises.
The Makadara legislature should know that change and true political leadership comes from the leader walking the talk.
Kenyan youths in voting for this self professed youthful leaders and the ‘Sonkohs’ of these country need to check true leadership qualities which marks great youthful leaders like Barack Obama, Malcolm X, Martin Luther, Jnr, and younger Fidel Castro amongst others who brought change to their society to be felt globally as young men.
Former University student leaders who fought in streets for second liberation are a good example that he can ape.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Title: The Autobiography of Malcolm X
Author: Malcolm X (Assisted by Alex Haley)
Genre: Non-fiction (Autobiography)
“Only Malcolm X’s autobiography seemed to offer something different. His repeated acts of self-creation spoke to me; the blunt poetry of his words, his unadorned insistence of respect, promised a new and uncompromising order, martial in its discipline, forged through sheer force of will” US President Barack Obama in Dreams From my Father; A story of Race and Inheritance.
Perhaps in the turn of the 21st century Malcolm X is the most physical symbol of black liberation globally. X was born Malcolm Little on May 19th, 1925 in Lansing, Michigan.
In the turn of the century Times magazine named The Autobiography of Malcolm X as the best and most powerful work of non-fiction. Atallah, X’s daughter in writing the forward of the book recounts how the US public erstwhile inertia about X got a jolt with release of X movie by Spike Lee.
This ‘X renaissance’ saw commercialization of his portrait, in theaters and a soaring interest about his life.
His transformation from a ghetto hustler to an international black crusader is most remarkable. After dropping out of school at 15, buoyed with wrong role models and influence he ends up (inevitably) to jail for 6 years.
He suffered anguish and ignorance down the society ladder as an addict, ironically he finds solace and peace in the jail library and converts to Islam to change above white prejudice.
US President Obama’s search for fluid state of identity in his life falls for this book like most readers globally. Malcolm X’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X has changed lives of millions and shaped many perspectives both white and black.
About a half a century after his assassination on February 1965 in New York, his description of racism and trouble in US is still potent to date.
“I have given to this book so much of whatever time I have because I feel, and I hope, that if I honesty and fully tell my life’s account….read objectively it might prove to be a testimony of some social value” Malcolm X writes, and goes on to give a vivid picture of his hustling years: running numbers, selling drugs, pimping, burglary among others.
The violence which snuffed the life of X started while the author was still in the womb. His mother Louise Little, a daughter of a white man and a black woman in illicit affair narrates to her son how the Ku Klux Klan invaded their house.
The father a member of Universal Negro Improved Association, UNIA led by Marcus Garvey is brutally murdered by the Klansmen leaving the family in destitution.
Like most white lynches the murder is never investigated and an insurance company refuses to pay up a policy breaking up the family further. His mother ends up in a mental institution while the eight children wind up in approved homes.
It’s this powerful narrative voice holding the reader with a vice grip that the author starts in the first two paragraphs ‘Nightmare’ and ‘Mascot’ covering this fallout.
After completing 8 grade Malcolm moves with his sister Ella in Boston where he enters the nightlife of hustling. His relationship with an older woman Sophia and burglary ultimately sends him to jail in 1946.
Ironically social conditions against blacks in jail give the author a transformation. He immerses himself into books where his oratory skills take shape in debates.
After his release he joins Elijah Mohammad’s Nation of Islam where he quickly raises from an assistant minister to head the New York Temple.
Malcolm easily finds the right note with the ghetto masses for revolution. His black racial pride and the militant and spiritual struggle for self respect sees his ascend not only in US, but globally.
He soon falls out with Elijah Mohammad due to jealousy.
Malcolm X as an international figure is highlighted in the last chapter on his visit to Mecca, Egypt, Lebanon, Ghana and Nigeria. He discover true Islam, racial tolerance and meets foreign leaders like Kwame Nkurumah.
As the curtain of his life drapes, Malcolm prophetically see the violent death of his father in snuffing off his old age.
“To come right down to it, if I take the kind of things in which I believe, then add to that kind of temperament that I have, plus one hundred percent declaration I have to whatever I believe in- these are ingredients which make it just about impossible for me to die of old age”
As the book ends the malignant disease of racial bigotry by whites in US took a violent twist in riots while integration took a stalemate. X ended up being labeled a ‘demagogue’ and ‘a hater’ among others.
This prophetic stalemate saw Martin Luther King, Jnr whose integration stance failed and was assassinated for having a dream.
Malcolm X’s The Autobiography of Malcolm X gives the reader what shaped the author since the great depression, WW2, Marcus Garvey and Baptist upbringing though important during his time takes a backstage.
He finally summarizes his life:
“Sometimes I have dared to dream to myself that one day, history may even say that my voice- which disturbed the white man’s smugness, and his arrogance, and his complacency- that my voice helped save America from a grave, possibly even a fatal catastrophe.”
The text of the book ascertains this quote.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
ever been kidnapped
by a poet
if i were a poet
i’d kidnap you
put you in my phrases
and meter you to jones beach
or maybe coney island
or maybe just to my house
lyric you in lilacs
dash you in the rain
alliterate the beach
to compliment my see
play the lyre for you
ode you with my love song
anything to win you
wrap you in red Black green
show you off to mama
yeah if i were
a poet i’d kid
Courtesy; Probst, R.E et al (2000) Elements of Literarture Third Course.
Texas; Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
What happens to a dream deferred?
Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
or fester like a sore-
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
or crust and sugar over-
like a syrupy sweet.
Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?
Courtesy; Probst, R.E et al (2000) Elements of Literarture Third Course.
Texas; Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
A Search for Identity, A Search for Racial Relations
Title: Dreams From my Father; a Story of Race and Inheritance
Author: Barack Obama
Publisher: Three Rivers Press, 2004
Genre: Non-Fictional (Autobiography)
Reviewer: Manuel Odeny
Few months after winning the Democratic nomination for a seat on the US senate from Illinois, the question of Barack Obama’s identity forced the re-publication of Dreams From my Father in 2004. The first print was when he became the first African-American president of the Harvard Law Review.
“(I) went to work (on the book) with the belief that the story of my family, and my efforts to understand that story, might speak in some way to the fissures of race that characterized the American experience, as well the fluid state of identity- the leap through time, the collision of cultures- that mark our modern life.” Obama observes in the preface of the book.
The book is a story of a fatherless boy trying to retrace his roots. His African father Barack Hussein Obama, Snr arrived at university of Hawaii in 1956, at 23 and married Ann Dunham. The parents separate in 1963 when the boy is only 2 years.
The author’s search for his family history is given in a calm, quite and powerful way evoking the reader to have an insight in human spirit and relation. His experience cuts across the globe and race, from Hawaii his birth place, and Chicago where he worked as a community organizer for three years. To Indonesia where he lived with is step father Lolo, and the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya, giving light to ‘fluid state of identity.’
Dreams From my Father; a Story of Race and Inheritance is divided in three parts; Origins, Chicago and Kenya.
In Origins, Obama talks of his early life in Hawaii, his stay in Indonesia and racial consciousness at Punahou School. He proceeds to Occidental College in Los Angeles where he struggles to fit as a black student.
“I had begun to see a new map of the world, one that was frightening in its simplicity, suffocating in its implications. We were always playing on the white man’s court” Obama writes “until being black meant only the knowledge of your own powerlessness, of your own defeat.”
His search takes him to the library, to WEB DuBois who ended in Ghana, poet Langston Hughes in Harlem and Malcolm X on black consciousness.
In the second part Chicago, Obama writes on three years as a community organizer in Chicago in search for a community. Although his search of identity begins from the fact of race, he realizes it should not end there. In Chicago the problem of poor housing, increased crime rate and poor services is felt across the racial divide.
This makes the sense of hope to move forward not to be based on bloodline of inheritance, but the need of all community to work together.
A visit by the author’s sister Auma ushers the reader to the third part, Kenya. His sister encourages him to visit the country and his father’s grave before joining Harvard Law School.
His visit to Kenya makes him realize who he is without any intellectual obligation.
“For a long time I sat between the two graves (his father’s and grandfather’s) and wept. When my tears were finally spent, I felt calmness wash over me” he finishes in his final paragraph.
“I saw that my life in America- the black life, the white life, the sense of abandonment I’d felt as a boy, the frustration and hope I’d witnessed in Chicago- all of it was connected with this small plot of earth an ocean away, connected by more than the accident of a name or the color of my skin”
The book gives the story of Obama’s maternal grannies Stanley and Madelyn Dunham (the WASP bloodline’s poor cousins) from Kansas in the heat of civilian war and racial prejudice to their settling in Hawaii.
The story of his paternal grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama in Kenya, the way he embraced the change of Britain colonialists. The two family story written with eloquence, respect and in intelligent style draws parallel in uniqueness of rich cultural experience to give meaning to race.
The author personal narration, although superfluous and dragging on and on gives abundant information for a reader to relate to.